Nearly 500 receive TSU diplomas Friday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 14, 2000

Staff Report

May 13, 2000 11 PM

About 500 men and women joined a small percentage of the world’s population Friday morning as college graduates.

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During commencement exercises at Sartain Hall, members of Troy State University’s class of 2000 were issued a challenge to do "great things" from Dr. Jack Hawkins, chancellor of the Troy State University System.

"I am confident you are prepared for the challenges which lie ahead," Hawkins told the graduates in his opening remarks. "You are prepared to be agents of change."

Commencement speaker Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor told the graduates they have a unique opportunity to spread American ideals throughout the world.

Pryor told the members of TSU’s first graduating class of the 21st century they have a "marvelous challenge ahead.

"The 20th century was the American century primarily of our success in defending freedom in two world wars and the Cold War," Pryor said. "But, the 21st century will, hopefully, be the century when American ideals are adopted by many other nations.

"As members of the class of 2000, you stand on the threshold of this new century and you have the opportunity to lay the groundwork for the protection of freedom, free markets and faith around the globe."

The graduates have been blessed with the ability to serve their fellow citizens, Pryor said. and they must also bear the responsibility of citizenship.

"You, now, must be leaders in all three parts of the American experiment, he said. "You have the responsibility to preserve our political freedom and to expand free enterprise and preserve our economic freedom. Also, as leaders of our moral and cultural communities, you have the responsibility to contribute to the health of the American soul in arts, literature and entertainment."

Two posthumous degrees were conferred and eight students received their commissions in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force.